Nigerian Communications Commission has reduced the fine imposed on MTN Nigeria to $3.4billion from the initial $5.2billion, TechCentral is reporting. Michael Ikpoki, MTN Nigeria CEO, has also handed in his resignation.
Fin24Tech reports that MTN announced the resignation this morning. Akinwale Goodluck, MTN Nigeria’s Head of Regulatory and Corporate Affairs has also quit. Former CEO and CFO at MTN Nigeria, Ferdi Moolman, will continue as the CEO, while Amina Oyagbola will take Mr. Goodluck’s place.
Meanwhile, the MTN Group is still searching for a new CEO, following the former Group CEO’s resignation. All of this is coming amidst the fine NCC imposed on MTN Nigeria.
MTN Nigeria bagged the fine, which is the largest ever imposed on a telco by a regulatory agency, for failing to cut off 5.1 million unregistered SIM cards before the August 2015 deadline. The fine has to be paid in full by December 31,2015.
TechCentral is also reporting that the interim executive chairman of MTN Group, Phuthuma Nhleko, “will ‘immediately and urgently re-engage with the Nigerian authorities before responding formally, as it is essential for the company to follow due process to ensure the best outcome’ for MTN, its stakeholders and the Nigerian authorities.”
The MTN Group has said that, “all factors having a bearing on the situation will be thoroughly and carefully considered before the company arrives at a final decision.”
There might be a political aspect to this. Some days ago, South Africa’s president, Jacob Zuma, met with Nigeria’s President Buhari to discuss the fine. So it’s possible the fine reduction is a result of the discussion. Note that MTN has not agreed to pay the fine yet.